BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 18: On the fund release issue, a blame game has started between Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the Central government. Gogoi on Wednesday accused New Delhi of not releasing funds allocated to the State for various schemes.
The reaction came a day after BJP Lok Sabha MP Bijoya Chakraborty accused Dispur of misappropriating funds released by Centre for various developmental works.
The Central government also recently warned that no funds would be further released until utilization certificates of earlier released funds are submitted by the State government to the former.
Talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, Gogoi said, “The Central government has deliberately started curtailing funds meant for the State so that an economic crisis prevails here. In the AGP days, the BJP government did the same thing,” adding, “In 2014-15, Rs 2,591.62 crore was received by the State so far against the total Central fund allocation of Rs 7,161.57 crore.”
The Chief Minister said that the State government had already submitted to the Centre utilization certificates against various schemes for the fincial year 2013-14. “We have submitted utilization certificates to the tune of Rs 5,236.98 crore for 2013-14. Sometimes it takes time but we have submitted utilization certificates against most of the amount,” he said, adding, “We are yet to receive funds even for those schemes, for which the State government submitted the utilization certificates for the previous year.” Gogoi said, “The State government has submitted to the Centre many new schemes, including flood control schemes, for sanctioning but not a single scheme has yet been sanctioned.”
He said that there were other schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi tiol Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), tiol Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and other Central schemes for which substantial amount is yet to be released. He even stated that the Central government is yet to agree to some relaxations that we have sought from the Central government under the SDRF.
Slamming the Centre, Gogoi said, “The Central government must release our fund and it can’t cut our fund. Tarun Gogoi is not a beggar and I will not bow down before the Centre.”
On the controversy over RPF personnel recruitment for the northeastern region, the Chief Minister said, “I wrote to the Prime Minister to restructure the present NF Railway zone that currently includes West Bengal and Bihar also. We have to wait till the next Railway budget.”